We sit outside a small store drinking a coke. ‘How are you doing?’ asks Sebastian. ‘Fine. Well, to tell the truth a bit tired. Odd, isn’t it?’ ‘Yep……me too – Maybe it’s the heat’. ‘Good point’ I say as I get up wearily to check the temperature; 39 degrees.
We ride into San Juan Nepomuceon at five, a good time to finish the day. We like this town. It is small and simple. Brightly coloured buildings and loud rumba music lend the place an atmosphere that brings a big grin to my face. People are socialising in the streets, a common feature of Colombian life. A man parades through the town centre on his horse showing off with a fancy dressage gait. A beautiful girl sitting outside the house with her mother catches my eye and holds it in a lingering embrace. Then the crazy man of the town arrives on the back of a motorbike taxi. He is desperate to engage us in conversation, he wants to buy us a beer. We try to explain that we have to find lodgings and ingredients for Osmosno Pasta, he wants to know all about Osmosno Pasta, we wish we hadn’t mentioned it. We try to move and he almost cries, like a spoilt child not getting his way ‘please, I want to talk to you!’ he sobs.
We move on and find a small shop. The young lad running the shop finds my Spanish highly entertaining. I realise that I have a way to go before I master this language, but I console myself with the thought that it is so nice to bring laughter into people’s lives.
A young boy crashes a shiny new motorcycle outside the shop, not quite sure how he managed it, the machine seemed to leap up and flip over. The only damage is to his pride and a few scratches to the machine, and probably to his backside when his father’s boot makes contact with it when he sees his damaged machine.
We stay the night in a lorry park on the outskirts of town. We like this place. A bit dusty, with of course lots of lorries. We relax and drink a few beers outside the room, then set to cooking Osmosno Pasta. It would seem that the pasta has an agreeable aroma, several drivers comment on it as they walk past. Some come over especially to to see where the exquisite smell is coming from
One or two drivers engage us in conversation, one stays for quite some time, giving us information and advice on our journey through Colombia. We hold our own with the Spanish and he seems to enjoy the chat. A young lad who is apparently the mirror and screen washing boy sits and listens. An old plastic bottle of soapy water and a grimy cloth, the tools of his trade, are by his side. Whenever he gets the chance he tells passers by that we are cycling to Argentina, all seem suitably impressed.
A beautiful old Dodge truck parks in front of us. The driver sits polishing the inside of his cab for five minutes before getting out. He is not the youngest driver here, stout with a distinct bald head he climbs down from his cab and closes the door with great care. It is clear that he has a passion for this truck and we wonder if he has had it since his youth.
The evening temperature is perfect with a light breeze blowing as we eat our pasta. We eat outside undisturbed as local etiquette appears to dictates that we should be left in peace to dine.
It has been a good day, it feels good to be on the road.